Kimberly Klinger, writer, in the Jan.-Feb. 2003 The Humanist article "Prostitution, Humanism, and a Woman's Choice," wrote:

“Decriminalization essentially means the removal of laws against this and other forms of sex work…

By contrast the term legalization usually refers to a system of governmental regulation of prostitutes wherein prostitutes are licensed and required to work in specific ways…. This is the practice in Nevada, the only state in the United States where brothels are legal. Although legalization can also imply a decriminalized, autonomous system of prostitution, the reality is that in most ‘legalized’ systems the police control prostitution with criminal codes. Laws regulate prostitutes’ businesses… prescribing health checks and registration of health status.”

Jan.-Feb. 2003